Sunday, December 18, 2016

This Small Business Owner Didn’t Want to Make Shirts for Gay Pride Festival. Now He’s in Court

A lawyer representing a Kentucky print shop owner who chose not to print gay pride festival T-shirts argued in a hearing this week that the government cannot force a person to create speech against his or her beliefs.

Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals in Lexington, Kentucky, turned down business due to his religious beliefs in 2012. He chose not to print shirts for the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization in advance of a gay pride festival.

The LGBT organization filed a discrimination complaint against Adamson with a local human rights commission.

“This case is about the expressive freedom of everyone, because if the owners of Hands On Originals must print messages that conflict with their beliefs, then there’s nothing stopping the government from forcing a lesbian printer to create a religious group’s flyer objecting a same-sex marriage or forcing a Muslim graphic designer to build a website promoting Jewish beliefs,” Jim Campbell, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal. “I think that there is a universal appeal to what we are arguing here.”

A Kentucky circuit court sided with Adamson in April 2015, saying that he had the right not to print the shirts. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission had previously ruled that Adamson must print T-shirts, even if the messages on the shirts conflicted with his religious beliefs.

The commission appealed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals on the Fayette County Circuit Court ruling that overturned the commission’s decision. The oral argument was held Dec. 13.

“Protecting Blaine’s freedom protects everyone’s freedom, regardless of their beliefs or convictions,” Campbell said in a statement. “No matter what you believe, the government shouldn’t be able to force you to create speech that conflicts with your deepest convictions.”

“Protecting Blaine’s freedom protects everyone’s freedom, regardless of their beliefs or convictions,” says @AllianceDefends.

Adamson’s lawyers say they believe he has the right to decline printing shirts that conflict with his deeply held values.

“The trial court’s decision rightly affirmed that, and we are asking the court of appeals to do the same,” Campbell stated.

Campbell told a three-judge panel Tuesday that Adamson does not discriminate based on a person’s sexual orientation, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

“Hands On Originals declined to print the shirts in question because of the messages on them, not the sexual orientation of the individuals who asked for them,” Campbell told the Kentucky Court of Appeals, according to the local news outlet.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Ed Dove, a lawyer with the Lexington Human Rights Commission, said, “You can’t separate the message from the discrimination. That’s a red herring.”

Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal organization representing Adamson, said of the incident:

Blaine explained that he could not print a shirt bearing a message that conflicts with his faith. He then offered to connect the [Gay and Lesbian Services Organization] to another printer who would create the shirts for the same price that he would have charged.

“Hands On Originals, our client, regularly prints shirts for gays and lesbians,” Campbell told The Daily Signal. “In fact, Hands On Originals has printed promotional items for a lesbian singer that performed at the very pride festival in question in this case, so Hands On Originals has no objection serving gays and lesbians.”

Campbell said:

The owners of Hands On Originals object to printing anything that promotes sexual activity or relationships outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. That belief regularly requires them to decline orders from heterosexuals.

Alliance Defending Freedom says it expects a court decision to be made within 90 days.

“If they rule in our favor, then we’ll have to see if the commission decides to continue to spend taxpayer dollars to pursue this or if the court rules for the commission, then we’ll have to evaluate whether to appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court,” Campbell said.


Residents Protest Removal Of Cross From Town Tree

The cross was removed from the Knightstown, Indiana Christmas tree on Monday following a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

WTTV reports that the lawsuit came on the behalf of town resident Joe Thompkins, stating the religious symbol should not be displayed on town property.

The town council released a statement, saying they couldn’t deal with the costs of a legal battle, so the cross was removed from the tree.

Now dozens of residents are taking to the streets to protest the council’s decision.

"One man shouldn't dictate how the rest of us express our religious freedoms. We have that freedom under the First Amendment,” resident Aaron Magee said.

At a town council meeting scheduled for Thursday, the council plans to pass a resolution that would keep the cross off the tree for good. Residents tell WTTV they will be attending the meeting to express their disapproval of the proposal.


Tom DeLay: Obama Has ‘Never Gotten Over His Racism’

In reaction to President Barack Obama saying America has not "overcome the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow and colonialism," former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) said this was an "unbelievable" comment and indicative of the fact that Obama has "never gotten over his racism."

During the Dec. 13 edition of the Steve Malzberg Show on NewsmaxTV, the host ran a Dec. 12 clip of Obama on Comedy Central. the president said, "We have by no means overcome the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow and colonialism and racism, but the progress we've made has been real and extraordinary."

Malzberg then asked DeLay what he thought of Obama's remark and the former House Leader said, “When is he [Obama] going away? My goodness gracious. This is just unbelievable, but you know, he’s never gotten over his racism."

"Many of us, in fact, I think the entire country has gotten over slavery and Jim Crow and all of that," said DeLay.  "It’s the professional racists like Obama and his buddies that can’t get over it because then they’re totally irrelevant.”

Malzberg then remarked that such remarks by Obama only divide the country and fuel division as the Obama administration prepares to end on Jan. 19.

DeLay agreed, saying, “Certainly. And that way they can continue their welfare programs that keep people on plantations and dependent on the government. They can keep government interfering in our lives all based upon some excuse about ‘you’re a racist, so you have to do this.’"

"[But] their era is over," said DeLay, "and we’ve gotten over slavery and Jim Crow. Yes, there may be some racists hiding around, white supremacist types hiding around America. But most of us have gotten over it.”

DeLay served in Congress from 1985 to 2006. He was House Majority Leader in 2003-2005.


Trump nominates David Friedman as ambassador to Israel, where he will ‘work from Jerusalem’

President-elect Donald Trump is nominating a top Jewish surrogate, David Friedman, to be ambassador to Israel, with a statement saying Friedman will serve from Jerusalem and describing the city as “Israel’s eternal capital.”

Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who has for years worked for Trump and his real estate development business, was with Jason Greenblatt, another Trump lawyer, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, one of his main emissaries to the Jewish community. Friedman this week briefed the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on what to expect from a Trump presidency.

The Trump transition team’s statement said Friedman – who like the incumbent ambassador, Dan Shapiro, speaks Hebrew – intends “to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

Congress recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995 and mandated the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but successive presidents have exercised a waiver in the law, citing national security interests. U.S. security officials believe that moving the embassy to Jerusalem, a city holy to Christians and Muslims as well as Jews and claimed by the Palestinians as their capital, would precipitate anti-American violence in the region and beyond.

In what has become a feature of transition statements, the release included a dig at the outgoing Obama administration.

“The bond between Israel and the United States runs deep, and I will ensure there is no daylight between us when I’m President,” Trump said in the statement. “As the United States’ Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman will maintain the special relationship between our two countries.”

President Barack Obama increased U.S.-Israel defense and intelligence sharing, but challenged the practice of his two immediate predecessors – Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – of keeping diplomatic disagreements behind closed doors. Early in his administration, Obama told Jewish leaders the policy of “no daylight” had not advanced peace in the region.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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